Ugwu’s Journey

As the novel progresses, we see a distinct character development in Ugwu. Often times, we are exposed to his inner thoughts as a young man, which revolve around women. He lusts after Nnesinachi, the girl from the village, and sometimes even has thoughts about Olanna. It is interesting how Adichie chooses to show us Ugwu in this light, especially given the chaos that ensures around him. I think Adichie is trying to show that even during civil war, when we often dehumanize our enemiesĀ in order to make our cause against them stronger, we are people all the same, with perhaps different values. In contrast to the teenage boy who seeks out women, Ugwu also wants to join the army and fight because of theĀ sense of pride and honor he believes will follow. Ultimately, times of war change people and force them to turn on their friends and neighbors. But no matter how hard the government or officials may try, we have always been one people and after the war is over, we will be once again. Ugwu represents the human imperfections that we all share, but which are characteristics that define us as human beings.